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9mm low grade ductal carcinoma

Posts: 13
Joined: Sep 2010

Having surgery next week, lumpectomy, breast reduction and 4 weeks of radiation.
My physician feels this was caught early without lymph node pathology. how can he be so confident?
I had an MRI and it revealed a cyst on the same breast. I will have an ultrasound on Monday and I was told not to lose sleep over the new cyst findings. Then why an ultrasound?
I really feel I should have a bilateral mastectomy so I need not worry about testing every 6 months/mammo and fear of another diagnosis.
I am also nervous about the radiation treatments because I read that it really matters who the docor is, his/her experience, machine and calibration. Is it true it may cause heart and lung damage?
I already had colon cancer a few years back. 6 months of chemo. How much more can my mind and body take?
I am so confused right now!:(

Jean 0609's picture
Jean 0609
Posts: 2462
Joined: Jun 2010

Sorry that the beast is back. Hang in there. I initially had a lumpectomy. My margins weren't clear, so then I had the mastectomy. The lumpectomy wasn't bad at all. So I feel like I didn't have 2 major surgeries. If my margins were clear, then I would have had to have the radiation. Sending prayers your way. Let us know how you do. Hugs, Jean

Heatherbelle's picture
Posts: 1227
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Survgal-
So sorry that you're going through all this, everything goes so fast in the beginning and it can feel like you're being pushed to make very hasty decisions. Please please if you are unsure about your surgical decision, let your doctor know that you need more time. I asked my Dr for a week to make my decision, and in that time I spoke with the oncologist who I would be seeing after surgery, as well as a plastic surgeon. I had cancer in just my right breast and in the end I opted for a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction with expanders put in. Speaking with the other doctors, for me, really helped me finalize my decision. I had been leaning towards mastectomy but still had lingering doubts, so it really helped me. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I'm in NO WAY pushing my surgical decision on anyone- this is a very personal decision for all women facing BC, but I am urging you to take more time in your decision, until you are 100% sure on whatever surgical path you choose. Best of luck to you, sister, and I hope you can soon find peace as well as piece as mind as you go through this difficult, but DO-ABLE journey. We are here with you.

Posts: 992
Joined: Sep 2009

Sorry you dealing with breast cancer but I went through similar treatment over a year ago. With the radiation, they have come a long way in recent years. There is a small risk of heart damage when the tumor is in the left breast because of the proximity to the heart. I would do some research on who has the most experience in your area. I always looked for the person who does the most work with breast cancer. My sugeon was also a breast specialist and it made a big difference in the way my breast looks and my recovery. My tumor was 1.8 cm which is much larger than your's and there was no lymph node involvement. Your doctor may feel that the size of the tumor makes node involvement. He may also be considering the pathology report which may show your cancer as less aggressive. I would ask for the OncotypeDX test which is designed for early stage/node negative breast cancers. It will let them know whether chemo is necessary. In my case, I did not have chemo. Please take one step at a time. Your cancer appears to be very early so try to take some comfort in that.


Posts: 33
Joined: Jan 2009

I am so sorry you have to deal with cancer again.

If you have 9mm of low grade DCIS, then the reason your physician is so confident that it has not spread to the lymph nodes is because DCIS is non-invasive and doesn't have the biological capability to get out of the milk ducts into the breast tissue.

When I was diagnosed with DCIS in 2007, I had a lumpectomy but choose not to have radiation, after consulting with a world-renowned DCIS expert and pathologist,who has a consulting service that any one can use.

Because I had small intermediate grade DCIS he calculated my recurrence risk at only 4 percent using the Van Nuys Prognosic Index. Since radiation reduces your recurrence risk by about 50 percent, the 2 percent reduction was not worth it for me.

Please feel free to send me a PM if you would like more info about any of this. You can also check it out on my website at:


With DCIS you also have the luxury of taking your time deciding what treatment you want. You can take months to proceed and it will be fine. No matter what you choose though, even a mastectomy, you will need to be monitored closely in the future.

Best wishes in whatever you decide,

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